Wall Street Journal and Kobo Pull Direct Content Sales From iOS Apps

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The Wall Street Journal reports that it will be removing subscription links from its iPad application, deciding to satisfy Apple's new in-app purchasing and subscription rules by removing the purchase links rather than offering subscriptions through the app with Apple taking a 30% cut.
People who download the app and want to subscribe will have to either call customer service or visit WSJ.com.

"We remain concerned that Apple's own subscription would create a poor experience for our readers, who would not be able to directly manage their WSJ account or to easily access our content across multiple platforms," a Journal spokeswoman said.
The report also notes that Kobo, the eBook company that has risen to prominence through its affiliation with the now-bankrupt Borders, has pulled direct book sales from within its iOS application.
Google's Google Books app for iOS has also disappeared from the App Store, although Google has declined to comment on the reason for the app's removal.




Apple had set a deadline of June 30th for apps to comply with the new rules, but has reportedly been lenient about enforcement as it continues to work with high-profile developers on making their apps compliant. But with the Wall Street Journal, Kobo, and potentially Google's eBooks service all pulling direct content sales from within their apps, it certainly appears that not all of the holdouts are working toward addressing the issue by supporting in-app subscriptions and purchases.

Article Link: Wall Street Journal and Kobo Pull Direct Content Sales From iOS Apps
 

mbarriault

macrumors regular
Dec 3, 2008
109
0
It does on the surface still seem like a dick move by Apple, but no matter what way it's cut, these publishers were still making money through Apple's system and keeping 100% of the proceeds. You wouldn't be able to set up a table on the steps of a Chapters and sell your book, so what makes the App Store really any different?
 

WannaGoMac

macrumors 68020
Feb 11, 2007
2,364
3,096
No surprise, a struggling industry can't afford to give up 30% of it's revenue to apple just for the pleasure of being an iOS app.
 

binarymelon

macrumors member
Jul 27, 2007
36
0
Hopefully Apple will adjust it's 30% cut because of this. I have always thought this was a little steep.
 

nwcs

macrumors 68000
Sep 21, 2009
1,822
2,267
Tennessee
Not surprising. Apple with either relent as they've done with things like iAds or they will press on and everyone will either leave or get used to it. My bet is on relent at some point.
 

unlinked

macrumors 6502a
Jul 12, 2010
697
1,217
Ireland
It does on the surface still seem like a dick move by Apple, but no matter what way it's cut, these publishers were still making money through Apple's system and keeping 100% of the proceeds. You wouldn't be able to set up a table on the steps of a Chapters and sell your book, so what makes the App Store really any different?
If Chapters made most of their money from selling tickets to enter the store they might have some interest in letting people sell stuff inside it.
 

scottgroovez

macrumors regular
May 20, 2010
148
1
It does on the surface still seem like a dick move by Apple, but no matter what way it's cut, these publishers were still making money through Apple's system and keeping 100% of the proceeds. You wouldn't be able to set up a table on the steps of a Chapters and sell your book, so what makes the App Store really any different?
Apple make money from the hardware and there's no alternative to offering apps for iOS other than through the app store.

I believe Apple should take a percentage, but 30% is pretty high IMO. They aren't even permitted to bump the price to cover the cost. I wonder how many apps there are where Apple make more money than the devs once their costs have been accounted for?
 

mbarriault

macrumors regular
Dec 3, 2008
109
0
If Chapters made most of their money from selling tickets to enter the store they might have some interest in letting people sell stuff inside it.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't most retailers charge both a shelf-space fee (cost of the store carrying it) and a per-sale fee (cost of processing the transaction)? It still seems like what Apple's doing is standard fare.
 

orbital

macrumors member
Apr 18, 2006
82
0
Whats good for the goose…

When you download something on an iOS device you are pulling content from apples servers whether you pay for it or not. They allow free applications to do this but when you make money they want a cut. I see this but its still a dick move. I think apple is calling the bluff here and they are hoping the consumers pressure these companies to sell through the app store and pay the cut. I also think apple needs to drop its cut if its going to enforce these rules, they can stand 50% less I think. It would also drive a lot of developers to produce apps for them.
 

wolfshades

macrumors 6502
Nov 1, 2007
426
540
Toronto, Ontario Canada
Yes, the really big question has already been asked here: what about Kindle?

A great many of us use the iPad mostly for reading books and magazines. We enjoy being able to choose between various bookstores - I've found books in the Amazon/Kindle store that were cheaper than Apple's - and vice versa.

If Amazon is forced to change their app to comply with Apple's policy, I can't help seeing this as a big old negative for Apple. Many of us will bite the bullet and simply buy a Kindle and be done with it.

Oh - and Kobo's move was a major bummer, too.
 

Popeye206

macrumors 68040
Sep 6, 2007
3,148
836
NE PA USA
Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't most retailers charge both a shelf-space fee (cost of the store carrying it) and a per-sale fee (cost of processing the transaction)? It still seems like what Apple's doing is standard fare.
Of course retailers take their cut. This is all just a matter of the new distribution channel finding it's level. Either the publishers will give, or Apple will give... or both. Probably a little of both as they find out what works.

The bigger issue IMHO is that the publishers need to get more real on their digital pricing. Most seem to want to charge a premium for their content as opposed to making it more cost effectively available to the digital masses.

Again... this will all find it's level as it matures.
 

Oletros

macrumors 603
Jul 27, 2009
6,002
60
Premià de Mar
You wouldn't be able to set up a table on the steps of a Chapters and sell your book, so what makes the App Store really any different?
Except that Nook or Kindle doesn't do that

Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't most retailers charge both a shelf-space fee (cost of the store carrying it) and a per-sale fee (cost of processing the transaction)? It still seems like what Apple's doing is standard fare.
What bookshelf space and transaction costs are incurring Amazon or B&N when you buy a book from Safari browser?
 

unlinked

macrumors 6502a
Jul 12, 2010
697
1,217
Ireland
Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't most retailers charge both a shelf-space fee (cost of the store carrying it) and a per-sale fee (cost of processing the transaction)? It still seems like what Apple's doing is standard fare.
Maybe they do and maybe it is. I wouldn't claim to be massively informed about retail practices but it annoys me when people try to forget apps and Apple are symbiotic and play one side or the other as a freeloader. Apple have the upper hand but they shouldn't abuse the position or they will end up regretting it.
 

TallManNY

macrumors 601
Nov 5, 2007
4,345
1,201
Ha I just tried to sign up again for WSJ this weekend. A few months ago my subscription stopped and I never got around to correcting it. This explains why I had so many problems that I just quit. Frankly, I kind of liked that Apple was taking a cut instead of all my money going to Murdoch. And I don't like it when companies create an inferior user experience because they don't want to give Apple a cut. Though I understand that Apple's cut can be somewhat excessive if you are producing a lower margin item, like a daily paper.
 

reden

macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2006
631
563
What an unnecessary inconvenience Apple. Pure greed. You are forcing startups who rely on a free app and in-app purchases to go the web-app way.
 

gibbz

macrumors 68030
May 31, 2007
2,690
98
Translation: Even though Apple provides an excellent experience for our readers, it provides a lousy experience for the WSJ since we don't get access to our reader's personal data which we can then sell for lots of money.
Exactly. Companies where consumers are not the actual customers do not like Apple (I'm looking at you Google).
 

SiPat

macrumors regular
Jun 20, 2009
195
0
This issue isn't about what cut Apple takes but about whether content can be bought from within the App without Apple getting that 30%.

There is also a small matter of the App developer wanting purchaser data which Apple refuses to give them.

Apple's 30% cut was better than Amazon's 70% cut (Amazon threw a tantrum for a couple of days when Apple first entered the market and now takes the same 30% as Apple).
 

mytdave

macrumors 6502a
Oct 29, 2002
586
745
bad for customers

This whole thing is bad for customers. Because of that, I don't see this being good for Apple. I'm already displeased with Apple because of this.

Subscriptions are not the same as other items. Subscription pretty much always means a reduced rate for a long term agreement, paid in advance.

Therefore, the 30% cut that might be reasonable at per issue pricing, is not reasonable for a subscription. Apple needs to get something for providing the store, but 30% when it comes to subscriptions is too high - they should look at something closer to 15%.
 
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